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Just a few hours away from Rio de Janeiro off the southern coast of Brazil is one of the country’s most beautiful hidden gems – Ilha Grande or literally, the Big Island.

Despite its proximity to the chaotic and frenetic Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande is a paradisaical haven of lush rainforest, pristine beaches and lazy afternoons. Weighing in at around 200km2, the island certainly lives up to its name if travelling by foot; and due to a ban on motor vehicles on the island, that is really the only way to explore its beauty and biodiversity.

The island is packed full of scenic hikes and luxuriously tranquil beaches, ranging from gentle strolls to more intense uphill battles. Most treks take anywhere between an hour and the best part of a day to visit, and some of the attractions on offer include…